Leicester, United Kingdom, is an amazing place for students, especially undergraduates. The population of Leicester is around 300,000 – with 35,000 of them being undergraduate students. This is mostly because of the famous universities and colleges there.
The University of Leicester is ranked 21st among 766 universities all around the world according to Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Ranking. However, according to QS World University Rankings, it is ranked 31st in the UK (and 242nd in the world). There is also De Montfort University, which is a very well-known university.
Apart from the wonderful education system, Leicester has some other benefits that attract students from all around the world. Here is a list of the reasons why undergraduate students choose to go to Leicester.
1. Low Cost of Living
Most students, especially undergrad students cannot afford their own house. At Student Accommodation Leicester, students either rent a small one-bedroom apartment or a house with other fellow students.
The reason students prefer Leicester to other areas is that the rent is very low. A house with a single bedroom costs around $700-$850 per week and despite the size, at least 3 students can comfortably live there. Sharing means the cost of each individual becomes even lower. The rent of a 3-bedroom apartment ranges from $1,270-$1410. Larger houses are slightly more expensive but still cheaper than other UK cities.
For comparison, the rent of a single bedroom apartment in London costs between $2,250-$2,550 which is more expensive than the 3 bedroom apartment in Leicester. Additionally, the rent of a three-bedroom apartment in London is well over $4,200.
Aside from the rent, the cost of daily items is also cheap. The cost of living index, which defines how expensive it is to live in a city, is approximately 68% for Leicester. The cost of living index for London is around 90% and for New York, USA, it is 100%. This gives you a clear comparison of how affordable Leicester is.
2. Available Part-Time Job Opportunities
To pay for your rent and tuition fees, a student obviously needs to have a job. Since they are likely not available for a full-time job yet, they need to look for part-time jobs. Fortunately, there are always part-time job vacancies in Leicester. This makes it very easy for students to live there and maintain their own living costs.
But that is not the best part. The best part is that the salary – even for part-time jobs in Leicester – is very lucrative. On average, a student can earn about $15 per hour. So if they work 30 hours a week they can earn up to $450 a week, which is $1,800 a month.
This is more than enough to pay for the house and tuition fees – not to mention, this is an average estimate. They can obviously make more if the opportunity arises.
3. Great Recreational Spots
Studying every day for a long time and doing part-time jobs might get tiresome and boring. To remove this monotony of life, you can enjoy all the beautiful recreational spots Leicester has to offer.
If you are someone who loves to enjoy the greenery and wants to be with nature in your free time, you can go visit Abbey Park, Bradgate Park, Watermead Country Park, Beacon Hill, Wistow Maze, or Swithland wood.
However, if you are more into visiting Museums, then Leicester has you covered as well. There is the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery, The Guildhall museum, the Newark house museum, the City Gallery, and many others.
Perhaps you are more interested in historical landscapes, then there is plenty to be found in Leicester. It has a lot of castles that are still standing and a lot of architectural monuments with historical significance. Such castles and buildings include Ashby de la Zouch Castle, Kirby Muxloe Castle, Victoria Park, Old John Tower, Bradgate House, Leicester Abbey, etc. There is also St Mary de Castro Church and the Leicester Cathedral.
And for space and astronomy enthusiasts, there is the Leicester National Space Center, which is open for all.
4. Amazing Libraries
As a student, you obviously will be spending a lot of time in the library. Lucky for you, Leicester has a lot of libraries all around the city. Most of these libraries open very early and close at around 6 PM or 7 PM. This is perfect because you will have enough time to go to your classes, visit the library, and then go to your part-time job.
There is the Leicester Central Library, Belgrave Library, Pork Pie Library, Knighton Library, Westcotes Library, David Willson Library, and many more. In total there are 20 libraries.
One of these libraries is a music library so if you are pursuing a career in the music industry or wanting to know more about music, then this library will be of great help.
5. Cheap Transportation
Leicester may be a small city, but you still need to get a cab or a bus to get from point A to point B. The cost of these transportation services is low in Leicester. For example, a one-way bus ticket will cost you $3 whereas, in London, it is $4.
Cab services in London will cost you an average of $3 if the distance is within 1km. However, in Leicester, it will cost you only $1.50-$2. This may not seem like a big difference to some, but remember that you will be travelling almost every day. Each day, these small numbers will stack and at the end of the month, you can save up to $30.
6. Cafés and Restaurants
Students love to enjoy delicious and exquisite meals in fancy restaurants. Fortunately for them, fancy restaurants in Leicester are not as expensive as in other cities. If you visit any restaurant in Leicester and order some regular fast-food items such as burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, it will cost you around $16-$17. A fairly cheap price for some amazing fast-food items.
However, there is one downside, and this is probably the only downside of living in Leicester. The cost of beverages in Leicester is slightly higher than in other cities such as London. For example, a can of Coke or Pepsi will cost you $1.8. But in Leicester, you need to pay $2.50. Apart from this, all other fast-food items, coffees, lattes, cappuccinos, and espressos are much cheaper. Even Mcdonald’s is cheaper here compared to the United States.
And just because they are cheap does not mean that the quality here is bad. In fact, the food quality here is just as good as expensive restaurants. So do not worry about your food being expired, of low quality, or missing important ingredients.
There are around 226 restaurants and cafes all across Leicester. So no matter where you live, there will definitely be one right near you.
7. Low Criminal Activity
Security is a very serious issue all around the world. No one wants to be a victim of theft or robbery. To eradicate these crimes, a strong security system must be established.
Although not very serious or frequent, there are some crimes that occur now and then in Leicester. Compared to the crime rate of other cities in the UK, the crime rate in Leicester is ideal.
So, Leicester is definitely a safer place than more busy and popular cities. The good news is that the crime rate in Leicester is gradually dropping. In the year 2011, the total number of recorded crimes was around 50,000. But in the year 2016, the number dropped to 40,000. This shows that the security system in Leicester is tightening, which is definitely good news for students.
8. A Great Community
The local people of Leicestershire are very friendly and are always ready to lend their support. So, if you are new to Leicester you won’t feel left out or alone from day one. Your neighbours will likely give you a warm welcome and keep in touch with you during your stay there. Many students love this hospitality, which is why they prefer living in Leicester.
How suitable and appealing a city is for students does not solely depend on how well their educational institutions are or how high their teaching standards are. Most of the time, it depends heavily on how cost-efficient the area is, and Leicester definitely ticks that box.
On average, the monthly cost of a single student living in Leicester is around $1,500. This is affordable for students with a part-time job. So, if you are an undergraduate and are looking for a place to settle, Leicester might just be the perfect city for you.